Driving out of Trinidad you leave the semi-arid landscape behind as you approach the verdant Valle de los Ingenios, a region of fertile fields of sugar cane at the foot of the Sierra del Escambray. There is a beautiful view of the valley from the Mirador de la Loma. ‘Ingenios’ were sugar cane estates built in the valley in the 19th century which led to the region becoming the world’s largest cane exporter. The valley is steeped in history and at one point had a population of over 1 million slaves, half the population of the entire country at the time. You will visit the Manaca Iznaga Estate which is the most impressive and the landowner’s elegant house is still in good condition. The ‘barracones’ (slaves huts) are also still standing and there is a 45m high tower built in 1830 by the owner of the estate Alejo Iznaga. You can locally cash pay to climb the tower for a great view but the steps are old and rickety, it is certainly not for the faint hearted!